Super Crumb Coffee Cake.

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs!

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at

 Because the crumb part… is the best part.

If you’re anything like me, you pick off the crumb topping from your coffee cake.  Or you take the piece with the most crumb topping on it.  If I could make a meal out of crumb topping… believe me, I would.

This is a cinnamon, sugary, buttery crumb-topped coffee cake. Heavy on the crumb.

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at

Today’s coffee cake is an easy-to-follow recipe.  This homemade version of the classic is a far cry from any of those overly-sweet, fake-tasting store bought versions you may be used to. It’s buttery, moist, soft, and pairs well with a morning cup of coffee. Let’s face it, this coffee cake will pair well with an afternoon cup o’ joe too.  Actually, the coffee is optional. You’ll love this cake no matter what you’re drinking with it.

I got the recipe from my favorite cookbook. The bible of baking, I like to call it. A 1,000+ page book of kitchen-tested recipes, tutorials, and baking tips. My Cooks Illustrated The New Best Recipe – trust me, you need this cookbook. They are the culinary geniuses behind my Death by Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies.

The cookbook doesn’t call this cake “super-crumb.”  I do. I baked the crumb cake in a smaller pan than what the recipe states, making the crumb layer in my version thicker for each piece.  Kevin had a slice and asked if there was more crumb topping leftover. Even the “super crumb” wasn’t enough for him. I knew I was marrying this man for a reason. 😉

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at

What makes this coffee cake so easy is that the crumb-topping and cake batter all start in the same bowl.  The crumb topping’s ingredients (butter, flour, & sugar) is essentially the cake’s ingredients without any liquid. A recipe deriving both cake and crumb topping from the same mixture was a selling point for me.

Simply combine your flour, sugar, salt, and cut in the butter. I used a whisk to cut the butter in and a large fork to mix everything around until the mixture resembled course crumbs.  Set aside 1 cup of the crumb mixture and continue with the rest of the cake batter ingredients.

The cup you set aside is your crumb topping. How easy is that?

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at

The recipe calls for buttermilk.  There are no substitutions for buttermilk here.  I tried.  Since I no longer work in the office, I had the spare minute to test this recipe a couple of times.  Buttermilk is one of the culprits for how moist the cake’s crumb is.  Trust me, you can’t leave it out!  It’s required for this recipe – the lactic acid present is what will allow the baking soda to react and leaven the cake. If you buy a carton of buttermilk, you can use the extra in my Triple Chocolate Layer Cake.

You can always make your own buttermilk at home using regular milk + lemon juice.  Here’s how I’ve done it before: Measure 2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup.  Then, add enough milk (1%, 2%, or whole) to the same measuring cup until it reaches 3/4 cup.  Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes.  The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in your recipe.

Another requirement? Room temperature egg.  Don’t worry, I have a shortcut for that too: Place the egg in a bowl of warm/hot water for 5-10 minutes as you get your other ingredients ready. Easy!

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at

The original recipe called for nuts, but I chose to leave them out.  I increased the vanilla extract used and the brown sugar used as well. I also increased the cinnamon, as per the usual. Love cinnamon.

This cake is a wonderful option to make ahead the night before brunch or even a holiday breakfast, like Mother’s Day coming soon. If busy mornings are the norm in your house, make this coffee cake ahead of time.  That’s exactly what I did. I made it on Saturday morning and on Sunday, it still tasted incredibly fresh. The crumbs were piled high, the cake hidden underneath was moist and tender, and the taste?  Oh so cinnamon-buttery.

In some bites, the crumb layer was thicker than the cake layer! Amazing.

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at

Old-fashioned crumb coffeecake at its finest, my friends.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

Super-Crumb Coffee Cake

Yield: serves 8-10

Print Recipe


  • 1 Tablespoon flour, for coating the pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 Tablespoons (1 and 1/4 stick) unsalted butter, firm and cold
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature1
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature2
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Generously spray a 9-inch springform pan3 with cooking spray or grease with butter. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with 1 Tablespoon of flour and tap out the excess.
  2. Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large mixing bowl until combined. Cut in the butter in very small pieces using a pastry blender or mix with a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 1 cup of the flour mixture.
  3. Mix the baking powder and baking soda into the remaining flour mixture. Add the room temperature buttermilk, egg, and vanilla - you may want to do this with a mixer. The batter is very, very thick. Vigorously mix everything together until the batter is smooth, fluffy, and resembles frosting - about 2 full minutes. Spoon the batter into the prepared springform pan, smoothing the top.
  4. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon to the reserved flour mixture. Toss with a fork until well blended. Sprinkle the crumbs over the batter, pressingly lightly so they stick. Bake the cake until the center is firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean - 50-58 minutes. Mine took 55 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the sides of the springform pan and allow cake to cool completely before serving (about 2 hours).
  5. Make ahead tip: Cake tastes best on day 1 or day 2. The cake may be made 1 day in advance. Store covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. Cake can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Additional Notes:

1See note in the post about buttermilk substitution.

2See note in the post about bring egg to room temperature quickly.

3Don't have a springform pan? Use a 9x9x2 (not 8-inch) square baking dish.

Update: Crumbs are likely to sink to the bottom of the cake is your butter is not firm enough, therefore making a crumb too soft to stay put on top. You can try using frozen butter and cutting that into the mixture with your pastry blender.

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated The New Best Recipe

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.



You won’t mind waking up to a few of my similar recipes for breakfast!

Homemade Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce

Homemade Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce


Raspberry Chocolate Coffee Cake

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Coffee Cake


Iced Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Iced Pumpkin Coffee Cake


Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread


After one bite of this coffee cake, breakfast will seem like a real treat.

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at


307 Responses to “Super Crumb Coffee Cake.”

  1. #
    Brittanyposted January 3, 2015 at 2:12 am

    I can not wait to make this tomorrow. Except i think I’ll make it as muffins instead. My kid will eat anything in “muffin” form (she’s an odd ball lol)


  2. #
    Mabelposted January 8, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    I made the super crumb coffee cake last night and my thirteen year old daughter loved it and requested I make it for her birthday in July. She also added that this coffee cake is much better than Starbucks coffee cake. That made my heart happy. Thank you for posting your recipes.


  3. #
    Eshalposted January 20, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    Hi, I had a craving for coffee , coffee cake and my daughters were asking for cupcakes. So I made 6 cupcakes out of half batter and mixed m&m for a fancy look but did put crumbs on the top and in the rest of batter I mixed 1 heaped teaspoon coffee granules and baked it in bread tin ,, and tadaaaaa It came out delicious. Crumble topping was out of world and my kids loved their cupcakes.
    thanx a lot for all your yummy recipes.


  4. #
    Coffee cake loverposted January 25, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    i used soymilk insteadof buttermilk and it came oit fine. it was so easy to make! I loved it!


  5. #
    Pedalpusherposted January 26, 2015 at 9:21 am

    I was excited to try this because I love the crumb topping on coffee cake, and this had a lot of it. I baked mine in a springform pan for 55 minutes. The crumb topping looks nothing like the topping shown in the pictures, and my cake is more of a golden color, and on the “tough” side.

    I have an electric oven, and wonder if that makes a difference. I also used a non-stick springform pan, but still greased it and floured the bottom. I wonder if that also makes a difference.

    If I make it again, I’ll tweak some of these other things and see if it makes a difference.


  6. #
    farrahposted January 27, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Hi sally,
    Just saw ur super crumb coffee cake in pin interest ,I am new to baking and would live to try out this recipient but before that I need a clarification and i hope u don’t mind me asking in this recipie when do we had the coffee..
    The recipie looks super easy and pics looks amazingly tempting..


    • Sallyreplied on January 27th, 2015 at 10:40 am

      “coffee cakes” don’t necessarily have coffee in them. I know it’s a little confusing! There is no coffee in this crumb cake recipe.


      • Farrahreplied on January 27th, 2015 at 11:09 am

        Thanks sally for your prompt reply.will bake this cake tomorrow n let u know how it turns out.

  7. #
    Kmposted January 28, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    My cake is only about an inch high ? Should it have risen more ?


  8. #
    Lori Arseneaultposted January 31, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    I have been making this cake for months now, and today the batter and crumb mixture has totally inverted. Any ideas why that might happen? I have made 6 or more times and never happened before?


  9. #
    farrahposted February 1, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Hi sally finally got the cake made for my moms birthday, the taste was amazing everyone loved it ,the only thing that was a problem was the bottom layer was a little rubbery followed ur recipie step by step from temperature to quantity.what could have been the possible reason..really really loved the crumb ,going to make it again for sure…


  10. #
    Karenposted February 4, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Looks delicious!!!!! Gonna try it….. are there any subsitutes for baking powder?? (Can’t I just use a little extra baking soda?) Thanks!! :)


  11. #
    Amyposted February 7, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Hi Sally,

    I love every recipe of yours I have tried! I want to try this coffee cake for a bake sale but use a mini bundt cake pan… Do you think that would work? Any ideas on how long I would need to bake it for?


    • Sallyreplied on February 8th, 2015 at 8:02 am

      Mini bundt pans should work, but I am unsure of the bake time.


      • Amyreplied on February 10th, 2015 at 6:26 pm

        I made this yesterday using the mini bundt cake pans–it turned out great! It made about 12 cakes and I just baked them at 325 for about 20-25 minutes. I let them cool while I baked the crumb topping on a cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then broke it up into pieces. I drizzled some icing over the cakes and then added the crumb on top. They were delicious–thank you for a great recipe!

  12. #
    Sarah Elyceposted February 10, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    If we wanted to put the nuts in this cake- what would the measurement be?


  13. #
    Marshall Loomerposted February 11, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Sally, your recipes are the best.
    Easy to follow and turn out amazing. I’ve always cooked and found baking intimidating because I don’t follow recipes well. You have turned me into a baker and I never buy anything store bought anymore!


  14. #
    Delliposted February 14, 2015 at 2:52 am

    I don’t understand one thing. Do I have to start with 2 cups of flour and add butter and sugar? Then I need to put 1 cup away and continue to add other ingredients to that 1 cup of mixture? I took 1 cup of flour and made a crumb with that and 1 cup of flour for the cake mixture and added the other ingredients but it didn’t work that way. The crumb was too buttery and burned totally!


    • Sallyreplied on February 14th, 2015 at 9:56 am

      Delli, whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together. Cut in the butter in very small pieces and set aside 1 cup of this flour/sugar/salt/butter mixture.


  15. #
    Meganposted February 15, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    Hi, Sally! I made this coffee cake tonight for my husband, he loves coffee cake. Let me just say, he is incredibly picky about his food!
    The cake turned out amazingly well! It was so soft and buttery, and the topping was perfection! My husband says it’s his new favorite, and my kids love it too! Thank you for such detailed instructions, I found this to be very easy to make, and it was my first attempt at coffee cake! Thanks so much! I’m trying out your chocolate chip cookie cake next!


  16. #
    Kapsposted February 26, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    love a crumble coffee cake with blueberries. Do you think I can add frozen blueberries to the cake batter?


    • Sallyreplied on February 26th, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      Absolutely. I’m unsure of the perfect amount. Test with how much you like.


  17. #
    Rachelposted February 28, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Can you make these in cupcake wrappers instead for individual coffee cakes?


    • Sallyreplied on February 28th, 2015 at 7:08 pm

      I’m sure you could, yes! I am unsure of the bake time.


      • Katreplied on May 29th, 2015 at 2:43 pm

        I baked this recipe in cupcake liners for 30 minutes and they were fully cooked. I haven’t eaten one yet, so I don’t know if they’re overbaked or not. 

      • Katreplied on May 29th, 2015 at 5:00 pm

        They were a bit dry on the outside at 30 minutes, but they wer nice and moist on the inside!

  18. #
    Stephanieposted March 11, 2015 at 1:22 am

    Sally, It’s time to make my husband a birthday cake and he requested your crumb cake. I think it is time I finally left a message to tell you how much I enjoy all your recipes. I have made the spice donuts with maple glaze, best chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodle blondies, and my grandkids absolute favorite, brownies. I have never found so many delicious recipes in one person. Yours are consistently the best. I always go to your site when I’m looking for something to make. I also wanted to tell you I read your entire blog before I start and follow the instructions to the letter. I also make sure my ingredients are fresh. I always get great results. Thank you!


    • Sallyreplied on March 11th, 2015 at 9:10 am

      Thank you so much Stephanie. I’m so glad that you enjoy my recipes and begin recipes the right way– reading through the instructions. This cake is one of your favorites!


  19. #
    Marti-joposted March 12, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Hi Sally, My question is the same as some of the others…. Made this Super Crumb Coffee Cake four times now. Once the crumbs stayed on the top and the cake was beautiful, the other three times the crumbs sack to the bottom. I’ve seen the same question asked several times here but have yet to see any answer for it. So once again, why is this happening? Please help. Thanks in advance!


    • Sallyreplied on March 12th, 2015 at 5:45 pm

      Hi Marti-jo, my apologies for unanswered questions. My only guess would be that the butter is not firm enough, therefore making a crumb too soft to stay put on top. You can try using frozen butter and cutting that into the mixture with your pastry blender.


  20. #
    Kimposted March 21, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Hi – I’m not sure if I did something wrong, but I did follow your instructions closely and found that my crumble was very powdery, mainly consisting of flour and sugar. It was too sweet for my taste and I didn’t like the texture of the crumble (it was like eating brown sugar out of the bag). Can you suggest some tips to help me get the texture right? Thanks!


  21. #
    Aartiposted March 28, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Hello :)

    I just have a doubt…. Can I add chocolate to the recipe? :) for a chocolate crumb cake?


    • Sallyreplied on March 28th, 2015 at 10:02 am

      That sounds delicious! But I’ve never tested it myself– cocoa powder is a tricky ingredient to work with. Let me know if you try it!


    • Raufikatreplied on October 21st, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      Hi Aarti, 
      Instead of 2 cups of flour, use 1 & 1/3 cup of flour and 2/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder. I made it and it was amazing!


  22. #
    Julieposted April 4, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Hi Sally, Im going to make this tomorrow, but where is the coffee in this recipe? or am i going mad?


    • Sallyreplied on April 4th, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      Hi Julie! American “coffee cake” is actually just a crumb cake of sorts eaten with coffee. There is no coffee in this cake!


  23. #
    cherzposted April 28, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Aaaamaaaaaayzinnggglyyy delishhh! Added two red apples and they transformed me forever! You r brilliant!! Typing as I am eating it now.. Haha


  24. #
    lillyposted May 6, 2015 at 5:49 am

    I dont understand so is the cake
    batter 1 or 2 cups of flour..please respond


    • Raufikatreplied on May 25th, 2015 at 5:21 am

      Hi Lilly, it’s 2 cups of flour to begin with. Add sugar, salt and butter, then remove one cup. That will be the crumb. To the remaining one cup, add baking powder, baking soda, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Hope this helps!


  25. #
    Raufikatposted May 25, 2015 at 5:17 am

    I made this cake for the first time on Saturday. It was delicious! I loved the buttery cake and the crumb was lovely, especially in a few places where it sank into the middle of the cake. Even my ‘vanilla pound cake only’ mum loved it. 10/10


  26. #
    Katposted May 29, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    I made this into cupcakes and I frosted them with a mocha mousse recipe I adapted. So good! My friends loved it!


  27. #
    Kaylaposted May 30, 2015 at 11:06 am

    This was absolutely incredible. I always go to your recipes first when I need a good one, and this one did not let me down. A few notes; I am one of those people who kind of goes off the path with the recipe when I don’t have all the ingredients. I only used 8 tbsp of butter. I also did not have buttermilk, so I left 3/4 cup of milk with 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar in a bowl for about 10 minutes, then added it in. Delicious! Thanks!


  28. #
    Terraposted May 31, 2015 at 7:47 am

    This cake is currently in the oven! I am in the UK so used a website that does US conversions. Fingers crossed it turns out well. Will let you know!
    PS- I only had self rising flour in the cupboard- this could be interesting…


    • Terrareplied on May 31st, 2015 at 8:34 am

      UPDATE: This cake is amazing! I took it from the oven 20 mins ago and am eating my first slice- nice and warm.

      Came out looking just like the photo and I am no baker. TIP: UK people- if you are using a fan assisted oven, this cake only needs to bake at 176 celcius for 38 mins. I also used a white porcelain casserole dish and the cake came out perfect!! Thank you


  29. #
    Stephanieposted July 3, 2015 at 9:18 am

    SCRUMPTIOUS!!!!! I had NEVER baked anything from scratch, and I am proud to say that my attempt at this was quite successful.  It leaves the pan empty and EVERYONE grabs at the crumbs. Was a little scared when I saw the batter cover the topping but when it came out of the oven and I tasted it I almost passed out! Modified it slightly to make it “my own” recipe and I even had a 10 year old ask me for the recipe! Gonna try another one of your recipes today. You’ve hit the nail on the head with this one…NO MORE STORE BOUGHT CRUMB CAKE FOR ME!!!!!


  30. #
    Deanna Batteleneposted July 9, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Just made this and it turned out AMAZING. Thanks for the recipe Sally!


  31. #
    KJposted July 22, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    I ADORE this breakfast cake! I originally made it following the recipe exactly, and it was very good. The next time I made it, I added another tablespoon of butter to the crumb mixture and it helped the crumb topping hold together a bit better. When making the cake today, I realized I had dark brown sugar and used it in the crumb topping. What a wonderful discovery! It adds another layer of flavor to this delicious cake!


  32. #
    Pamposted August 3, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Sally, thank you for sharing this recipe. Made it for this morning’s staff meeting; and everyone loved it! Could this recipe be used for coffee cake muffins?


    • Sallyreplied on August 3rd, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      Definitely! About 20 minutes bake time.


  33. #
    Cindyposted August 11, 2015 at 12:41 am

    Thank you for such a great recipe! J wanted to let you know it translates to gluten free perfectly! I converted it to gluten free 1:1 with the Pillsbury GF flour mix and the results are delicious!!! 


  34. #
    Debra Gossettposted August 26, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    You are quickly becoming my go to site for quick and easy, but oh so delicious recipes! As the mother of a very active 13 month old….quick is a necessity!! :)


  35. #
    Nitaposted September 6, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    We had been eating those store bought streussel cakes and I finally decided to make one from scratch. My cake came out a little darker than thw picture (I was looking for that yellow buttery color but it was more of a tan or brown sugar color) but it was moist and fluffy.  I probably could have taken it out of the oven a few minutes earlier because the edges were a bit overbrowned but I will make this again. I had to laugh though because at first bite it didn’t taste like a store bought coffee cake that we had become used to! Lol. I had it with french vanilla ice cream for dessert and my husband dipped his in milk…..he loves it!


  36. #
    Randyposted September 12, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    This recipe was fantastic. I made just one adjustment; I added a half a cup of dark chocolate, chocolate chips to the batter. This was the most delicious Super Crumb Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake. 


  37. #
    Brittneyposted September 24, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Hi Sally! I have only made this coffee cake one other time, even then the topping sank. I have it in the oven and upon looking at it, the topping has been completely swallowed up by the cake. I made the flour mixture yesterday, kept it in the fridge, separated 1 cup today & put it in the freezer for 40 mins while the egg came to room temp. I also waited until I put the batter in the springform until I topped it. Any idea why it sank? Thanks a bunch.


  38. #
    Sarah Powersposted September 30, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    This coffee cake is delicious I did add 8 oz of Cream cheese to the batter and the top crumble because I needed to use it up. It is so good! Thank you for this recipe!


  39. #
    Blueposted October 26, 2015 at 3:33 am

    Hi Sally ! I love your recipes because I know I’ll get exactly same thing shown in pictures when I try anything from your website :-) . Only the problem is with this cake. I made it two times. Although it tasted absolutely delicious, it’s CRUMBS were somewhat powdery. Not like yours (big chunks). And also yours had a brownish- caramel like color mine was just plain white/ beige. I made sure my butter was frozen. I really really liked it and want to improve its “outlook”. Can you plz help me out in guiding what did I do wrong?


    • Sallyreplied on October 27th, 2015 at 6:53 am

      Blue, you can try to form larger crumbs with your hands– so, after setting aside the 1 cup of crumbs– use you hands to squeeze some of the crumbles together to form larger clumps. Does this make sense? As for the color– is your cake cooked through? Check your oven temperature (use an oven thermometer!) to make sure the temperature is accurate. If so, turn the oven temp up 10 or 15 degrees to help get those edges/top brown.


      • Bluereplied on October 27th, 2015 at 9:12 am

        Ooooh wow ok now I know how to make those big chunks. Thank you !
        And yes I use oven thermometer :) . I’ll follow ur instructions closely next time I bake this coffee cake. Keep posting wonderful recipes for us !! 

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